A story out of Arkansas is turning heads, as the truck driver that was involved in a serious tractor-trailer collision in June is now facing multiple charges. The man is just 39 years old, but had been driving the heavy weight vehicles for some time. This ride didn’t turn out like the others.
The man lost control of his vehicle when the braking system failed. Suddenly, the log carrier was nothing more than an oversized, speeding bullet, as it charged down a steep incline. Standing in its path were a few dozen construction workers. The weight of the logs alone would do serious damage. Combine that with the hefty tractor trailer body and this was one force that wasn’t going to be stopped easily. It plowed through the work site leaving two dead and several people seriously injured. More than 20, in total, felt the impact of the trucking accident. Ten of those were taken to the local hospital, another three were airlifted, and one died at the scene, according to THV11.com. Two fatalities were reported.
Fast forward a couple of months, and the 39-year-old driver is facing court officials, being charged with double negligent homicide, in addition to ten counts of first degree battery and six counts of second degree battery.
Why would the courts be so hard on a driver who simply lost his brakes? They wouldn’t, unless the driver was found to be under the influence of drugs.
According to the same source, the man’s name is Jerry Hickman, and at the time of the accident, he tested positive for methamphetamines.
Unfortunately, there are likely drivers on the Saint Petersburg highways who are just as under the influence of either narcotics or alcohol and prone to a trucking accident. There are numerous ways that a person can administer meth – snorting, injecting, oral application, smoking, or dissolving it in liquids. The desired state of euphoria lasts for shorter and shorter periods of time with each consecutive use. Thus, it can become a very addictive habit. This is all despite the fact that users are generally aware of the use of toxic chemicals in the drug.
The use of the drug does not just endanger the person using; it can also put others at risk, as was seen in this case. There are many known side effects of the drug. When it comes to a person behind the wheel, the scariest of those are the mood swings that can result in seriously violent behavior, hallucinations, and paranoia. The drug can reduce motor skills and impair memory, further inhibiting a person’s ability to safely navigate the streets of St. Petersburg.
Any drug – including alcohol and marijuana – can alter brain activity and reduce a person’s aptitude of driving. This case makes it very clear that the courts will not sympathize with drug users who get behind the wheel and cause harm to others. Personal injury courts feel the same and are ready to aid the victims of such cases. If you are harmed in an accident, due to another driver’s drug-altered or intoxicated state, consult a personal injury attorney for assistance. You may be able to recoup some of the monetary losses that you suffered as a result.